Lorne Michaels has been the captain of Saturday Night Live since its inception. The producer has been relentlessly working for decades, to the point that the two are synonymous. While Michaels seems to be inseparable from the show, it seems he might eventually make an exit.
SNL star Kenan Thompson has become one of the most well-known figures from the show. While appearing on Charlamagne Tha God’s “Hell of a Week” podcast, Thompson talked about the potential end of the legendary series.
Thompson responded to a question from Charlamagne asking whether the show will end after its 50th season. He suggested that it might be a good idea to let the show rest after its 50th anniversary.
– The rumor is the show is ending at its 50th season because Mr. Lorne Michaels doesn’t want to do it after age 80. Is that true?
– Is that the rumor? All right, I need to start planning. There could be a lot of validity to that rumor, because 50 is a good number to stop at. That’s an incredible package. He will be, probably, close to 80 years old at that point, and, you know, he’s the one who’s had his touch on the whole thing.
The SNL star also explained why Michaels’ retirement might be troublesome for the show. He speculated that with NBC pretty much changing the product after his leave, and even doing some cost-cutting, it won’t be the same. It would be difficult for Michaels to see the show ending with such a brutal fate, which is why it’s better for it to end around its 50th season.
So, if somebody tries to come into his shoes, you know, it’s a good opportunity for NBC to save money as well, you know what I’m saying? [NBC] might slash the budget and then at that point, you can’t really do the same kind of show. So that’s unfair to watch it just really go down kind of in flames for real because of those restrictions … Capping it at 50 might not be a bad idea. [Michaels] is such a legend that he keeps off those corporate wolves, if you will. They spend a lot of money on that show every week. It’s an expensive show, but it’s a one-of-a-kind thing.
Lorne Michaels is currently 77 years old, and the show will go through its 50th season during 2024-2025. With the timings coinciding, and Michaels himself adding to the speculation, perhaps we are looking at the end of an era. Many stars have skyrocketed to stardom from the show, such as Norm MacDonald, Tina Fey, Pete Davidson, and Amy Poehler.
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